River to Redemption

Written by Ann H. Gabhart
Review by Viviane Crystal

In June 1833, the cholera plague is careening through Adria Starr’s small Kentucky town as well as across the country. Adria’s family dies quickly, and Adria remains alone with their bodies until a kind African-American slave finds her and takes the child to his home. Louis then buries her family and 43 other victims, praying for their departed souls. The prayers wind up pairing Adria with Ruth, whose husband had also died. Everyone is trying to learn how to live with so much loss. Twelve years later, life starts improving. Ruth and Adria speak a great deal about the limitless possibilities for Adria’s future. Both love to read and so think outside the box of most Southerners about slavery and marriages of convenience. A new preacher arrives, questioning faith after the loss of his wife and child.

No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that Louis’s deep faith eventually begins to affect everyone, with hopes for marriages forged by love, freedom obtained through determination, and cycles of redemption transforming every character within this moving story. Other characters question God after the tragedies they have endured, yet Louis expresses his faith softly and honorably, affecting every listener. On another note, support for abolition may be present but isn’t abided in Adria’s neighborhood. However, the ever-constant faith and kindness of Louis so moves everyone that they are willing to see beyond his color to “do the right thing.” River to Redemption is inspirational Christian fiction that will please readers for its quaint and simple but profoundly honest revelations.